Coming down to the wire now! It’s very hard to predict what will “come out of” this Lambeth Conference. But, of course, the design was not oriented toward specific outcomes, but on continuing the conversation and building relationships. That has surely happened. As Desmond Tutu famously said, “Anglicans meet.” I would add, the Lambeth Conference is “Anglican bishops meeting at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
It looks like we’ll spend the last two days giving more detailed input into the Anglican Covenant Design Team and the “Reflections” group which will produce a final paper, mainly a summary of our conversations here to report to the wider Church. The Covenant Design team will take the input, come up with another draft, and presumably send it along to the Anglican Consultative Council meeting (in May?).
They can amend it, send it back for more work, or out to the Provinces for eventual ratification which could take several years at least. An unanswered question at this point is “what happens to Provinces to choose not to sign on to the Covenant?” There is some question as to whether Parliament would even allow the established Church of England to sign on to such a document which might regulate their internal affairs.
If the Church of England is not part of an Anglican Covenant, it’s hard to see how that strengthens the Anglican Communion!